Marijuana Bill Clears Del. Senate Committee

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  Marijuana Bill Clears Del. Senate Committee

Posted by CN Staff on June 04, 2009 at 10:42:38 PT
By Doug Denison, Staff Writer 
Source: Sussex Countian  

Delaware -- A bill that would make it legal for Delaware doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients with serious diseases was voted out of a Senate committee June 3 and is expected to reach the floor of that chamber in the coming weeks.Before voting the Senate Health and Social Services Committee listened to 90 minutes of testimony in support of Senate Bill 94, authored by Sen. Margaret Rose Henry, D-Wilmington East, who also chairs the committee. No one spoke in opposition to the bill.
If passed, the legislation would allow individuals with diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma to use marijuana as part of their treatment with the consent of a doctor. Approved patients would be issued identification cards and could lawfully possess up to six ounces of the substance at a time and cultivate up to 12 plants for their own use.The bill would also establish a network of dispensaries, known as “Compassionate Care Centers,” which would be authorized to grow a larger crop of marijuana and distribute it to authorized individuals.The hearing drew a wide range of participants — from individuals who have used marijuana to treat epilepsy, bi-polar disorder, cancer and HIV, to representatives from the Hemp Education Awareness League and the Delaware Medical Society.Newark resident Brian Larson told the committee that he suffers from severe pain as the result of a back injury, and that marijuana is the best way for him to deal with the pain and live a productive life.Larson said prescription pain medications leave him feeling weak and lethargic, but marijuana relieves the pain and allows him to stay active.“With Oxycontin, you just feel like a vegetable,” he said. “With marijuana you can still go out. I can run, I can hike or bike.”If it becomes law, the bill would take a heavy load off those who are using marijuana to treat disease even though it is illegal, Larson added.“It’s a matter of not making people feel like criminals,” he said. “If grown adults choose to medicate themselves in this way, then they should be able to freely.”Bob Byrd, who spoke on behalf of the medical society, said the society’s member physicians engaged in a lengthy debate over the bill, but decided in the end to remain neutral and offer neither support nor opposition.Byrd said many ophthalmologists argued that glaucoma should be taken out of the bill, since the condition, once a poster disease for medical marijuana, can be treated more effectively with new drugs that have been developed in recent years.But other doctors said marijuana would be an effective treatment and far less costly than many prescription drugs, Byrd added.“There were very articulate doctors on both sides of the bill,” he said.Committee member Sen. Patricia M. Blevins, D-Elsmere, questioned the scope of the bill, since it lists several specific diseases as well as a myriad of individual symptoms for which marijuana can be used a treatment.“I’m concerned about making it so broad that is won’t pass muster in the General Assembly,” she said. “We’re starting out so broadly that we might have a problem getting relief to those who need [marijuana] or are already using it illegally.” Source: Sussex Countian (DE)Author: Doug Denison, Staff Writer Published: June 4, 2009Copyright: 2009 GateHouse Media, Inc.Contact: editor sussexcountian.comWebsite: Articles:Marijuana Bill Clears Delaware Senate Panel Senator Proposes Medical Marijuana Bill

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Comment #3 posted by FoM on June 04, 2009 at 12:25:14 PT
A Question About The New Jersey Bill
Why would a cost saving measure for sick people be removed from the legislation? Excerpt: The original bill, passed in the Senate, would have allowed people to grow their own limited supply of marijuana.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on June 04, 2009 at 11:32:53 PT

N.J. Assembly Committee Passes Bill
N.J. Assembly Committee Passes Bill To Allow Medical MarijuanaBy Susan K. Livio, Statehouse BureauThursday, June 04, 2009New Jersey -- A state Assembly committee today approved legislation that would make New Jersey the 14th state to permit severely ill patients to acquire "medical marijuana."But the proposal is dramatically different than one a state Senate version and would put stricter limits on who may grow, distribute and obtain the illegal drug.Responding to criticism that the original bill was too lax with the distribution and oversight of the drug's distribution, Committee Chairman Herb Conaway (D-Burlington) said only licensed "alternative treatment centers" would be allowed to grow, process and dispense the drug to people whose treating physicians recommend they need the drug to ease pain, mobility and nausea. The original bill, passed in the Senate, would have allowed people to grow their own limited supply of marijuana.The bill permits only the patients themselves to physically obtain the drug, or if they cannot, a courier will deliver it to them, according to the amended bill."This bill will be the most restrictive in the nation,'' said Sen. Joseph Scutari (D-Union), who added that even he thinks the new bill may be too narrow and restrictive.Conaway, a licensed physician, opened the hearing with an announcement that the bill would pass no matter what. He said he expected the bill would undergo more changes as it makes its way through the legislative process.SnippedURL:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 04, 2009 at 10:46:20 PT

Medical Marijuana Bill Advances in New Jersey 

 June 04, 2009Trenton, N.J. -- New Jersey moved closer to allowing chronically ill patients to smoke marijuana to relieve symptoms of pain and nausea.The Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee approved the medical marijuana bill by an 8-1 vote with two abstentions Thursday. New Jersey would become the 14th state with such a law if it passes the Legislature and Gov. Jon Corzine signs it. Corzine has said he would.The measure allows chronically ill patients to petition the state to allow them to use marijuana medicinally. Physician certification of their condition would be required.Patients would be issued an identification card allowing them to grow six plants or access the drug at an alternative medicine center.Critics say medicinal marijuana amounts to tacit approval of an illegal drug.Copyright: 2009 Fort Mill TimesURL:
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